Podcast #143 - The One With All The Adventures



In this willingly 143rd episode of the Shut Up & Sit Down podcast, Quinns and Tom are going on an adventure(s)! Keep your hands and feet inside the box at all times - especially as we lower the lid over the top of your head and slide you into a Kallax. It’s where we keep all the adventures.

We’re going on ADVENTURE through ARNAK in The Lost Ruins of Arnak! We’re going on an ADVENTURE through TIME in The Loop! And last but not least, we’re going on a CARD GAME through FANTASY in Fantasy Realms!

01:19 - The Lost Ruins of Arnak
22:35 - The Loop
36:57 - Fantasy Realms

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It’s odd when you hear/see a review or opinion of a game you have played yet don’t recognise it based on their description. So much of what they said about Arnak (e.g. you buy cards now because it’s cool rather than for future turns, focusing on the track isn’t a winning strategy, there’s no real future planning) is the opposite to my experience.


Quinns: “A buffet at a funeral” !


I think maybe they should put a little more seriousness into that bout of self-deprecation at the end of the Arnak segment. Sort of a microcosm of why SUSD has become less relevant to me.


Their remark about the co-op games was on point though.a little bit of finnesse on the presentation would make the whole package more compelling. They mentioned envelopes but I also think there’s merit in doling out crafted experiences (eg changing the feel of a particular game with prearranged elements). The initiative has this a little bit for me in that making each game increasingly different keeps the challenge from feeling a bit arbitrary.

I’m quite perplexed by the idea of Lost Ruins of Arnak as a ‘gateway game’. For what they’re worth, based on BGG’s ‘weight’ ratings it would be the 4th heaviest game that I would own. Admittedly, I’ve sold most of my heavy games in recent years to focus on games I can play with family, but that also tells a story. If I put Arnak in front of my family, with its size and iconography, it would provoke a visceral reaction.

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I think it can be hard for a reviewer to be honestly negative about something when there’s a lot of positivity about it – especially when it’s a reviewer whom a lot of people will take as the “right” answer. I think boardgame reviews as a whole suffer from default positivity; never mind the people who praise everything they get sent, I think most boardgame media creators simply want to share the things they enjoy rather than bash on something they didn’t.

One great thing about doing MGTT, as far as I’m concerned, is that Lee and I have quite different opinions about what makes a game enjoyable – so even more than usual I go in thinking “this game works well for me” rather than “this is a good game”, and I think that comes through whenever I make a positive or negative recommendation.

I don’t want the faff of envelopes, but I’m quite happy for the rules to suggest a series of game configurations (e.g. try first with rules 1-5, then add in 6 or 7, then the other one). On the other hand I can do that for myself once I know the game. (Of course, if you’re trying to snag people in on the first or second play, which may be a consideration these days…)


I think there is a certain amount of truth in the comment how maybe they view things differently because they have played so many boardgames. I used to find that refreshing to see someone commenting from that level of expertise.

I understand it is hard to review games honestly when there are people in the industry accuse you (more or less) of making or breaking the success of games with your commentary.

But the whole podcast was one big headshaking disagreement fest for me. That comment about coop games having to have legacy or campaign elements… and then waxing lyrical about how much fun bad hands in Fantasy Realms are? It felt like they desperately wanted to downplay one game and elevate the other? Why?